Baby Steps

I let projects intimidate me. Sometimes a problem seems too big or a too mentally taxing. I know I can do it. However, my brain shuts down and continuing seems more daunting than a trip to Mordor.  

The cabinets for the trailer have been one of those projects. I’ve been letting it get so much bigger mentally than it needs to be.

  
I decided to buys some base kits and then alter them into what I want. At the time that seemed so much easier than measuring and cutting. And I know ultimately it is easier. 

After getting the pieces dry fit and into place, my brain decided it had had enough for the day. Instead I played with all my bits and bobs for the trailer. When it doubt, play.    

    
 I’ll get back to the cabinets…eventually. I’ve found some pictures to help me narrow in on what I want them to look like, so that will help. 

I have plenty of other little projects to keep me busy until I finally get over this little hurdle. 

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Picking Colors…Again

front 6

I mentioned yesterday that we had the outside of the house repainted.  It was actually one of the first things done for the house.  The original color was a beigey peach color with flesh undertones (I can’t figure out why pictures don’t truly capture the color accurately).  OK, it probably wasn’t that bad.  Let’s just say we didn’t like it.  Since we were painting the inside ourselves, we figured that we could splurge and have someone else paint it.  Plus it was July in Florida, were there’s 95 percent humidity at 8a.m. Think of all that mess!

front before

We had to pick colors.  You know how well we do that.  Here are the swatches on the front (this was taken after they had started painting).

exterior colors2

We were leaning towards dark trim, white accents and a lighter base color.  We had browns, blues, blacks, beige, greys, and a really dark brown. What colors would you pick?

exterior colors1

Here are the swatches on the back of the house.  More browns and greys.

exterior colors3

After much debate, painting swatches, painting bigger swatches and standing in the yard squinting at the house using a tree and our hands to try and see the big picture, we chose the above color scheme.  The grey (Ashwood by Benjamin Moore)  is for the body of the house.  The dark color is for the trim and accents (its a color that we custom-mixed to get the perfect bittersweet chocolate color).  And the white is for the eaves and beams.

painting

The painters taped up the all the windows and doors.  The house felt so small with all the windows covered up.  They were covered up for four days, thanks to some rain and me adding more work for the painters.  They thought we wanted everything painted one color.  I had a nice surprise for them when they showed up that first morning.

painting1

Here is the side of the house with the living room windows and bedrooms.  All the windows have panelling under them, so I wanted the paint scheme to accentuate them.  The painters were not expecting the extra work, but were very nice about doing it (of course the extra money we had to pay probably helped).

painting2

This is the back of the house with the dark brown painted, but nothing else.

painting3

house painted1

Here it is, almost done.  You can see the permit board on the right from our kitchen installation and the windows are full of who knows what.

after b

Here’s the back of the house all done.  You can use the shed for comparison, since the house used to be the same color.  It will get a paint job too, eventually.  We have a lot of plans for the back yard, but it will be years in the making.

PicMonkey house1

Here’s a quick before and after.  This is before we painted inside.  The new paint colors let the architecture of the house stand out and it lets the coral on the front be the star.  When we landscape the front the greens of the plants we choose will pop off of the grey background.

after2 b

And here is the front with the new color in the hall.  Our next project will be the landscaping of the front beds.  We also need to find some cushions for the chairs on the porch.  I found those at our closest Habitat Restore for $10 each.  There are two more in the back yard.

If I can get my photoshop to work I’ll put together a little plan of what we are thinking for the landscaping. I don’t want to tear out the old bushes until we have the new ones.  Not because the front will look naked.  Not because I’m trying to streamline the process and do it all in one day. No, it’s because I don’t want to scare away the lizards for too long.  Yes, I’m weird.   Jamie has been very sweet and has not made fun of me for it.

Sunflowers

I love thrifting.  It is one of my favorite hobbies.  Some days are good, some are bad.  It’s a great way to find unique items, things that I’ve been looking for, or even unexpected treasures.  It’s the thrill of the hunt.  Keeping your eyes pealed for a hidden gem.  Basically it’s the ultimate Legends of the Hidden game.  My mom has been in town for the past few months.  She is the ultimate thrifter.  She will call up every couple of weeks needing her bargain hunting fix.  This past Wednesday was a good day.

59f0cdd865a211e2bb0f22000a1fbc94_7

I found a pair of lamps for my bedroom ($25), a Viking glass vase (at least that’s what I think it is, either way I love it- $4.50), and a pretty long crewel embroidery of sunflowers ($2).  I found a few other things that will be put on Etsy.  My mom and I resell things that we find that are too amazing to pass up, but we don’t have room for in our own houses.

sunflowers1

Sunflowers have a special place in my heart.  When Jamie and I were dating he wrote me a poem about sunflowers.  It was really sweet and it doesn’t hurt that I love sunflowers too.  So when I saw this piece of fiber art I knew I had to have it.  It just needed a way to hang it.  I looked into stretcher bars for artists to use to create canvases.  It would have cost about $15 to order what I needed, but I was feeling cheap so I decided to make my own.

sunflowers2

We have a pile of left over lumber from the kitchen.  After looking through the pieces I figured I had enough to make the long sides, but nothing really to use to make the short sides.

sunflowers3

Then I noticed the leftover giant stir sticks we had gotten from Home Depot when we bought our 5 gallon buckets of paint for the house.  They were perfect.  I cut the wood to the lengths that I needed,  used wood glue and tiny little brad type nails to create a basic rectangle and let it dry over night.  Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the frame before I started stapling it all together.

sunflowers4

Using my staple gun, I stapled the short sides first.  Then, went back and did the long sides.  I didn’t put tons of staples in.  No one would be siting on it, so I only used enough staples to hold it taught.  The corners were folded quickly and stapled down.

sunflowers5

Jamie suggested hanging it in the front hall so that it would pop against the blue.  The rest of the house is our Groovy Grey color and it just seems to disappear on those walls.  I love it.  I’ve been wanting some sort of fiber art and am thrilled that I found this one.  The great part is, if we ever find something we love more, we only have a $2 investment into this one.  Isn’t thrifting awesome?

sunflowers6

Here it is from the front porch.  I’ll have to take pictures of the rest of the front hall.  As you can tell we picked out a color.  I’d call it “almost done”.  There are a few things small that I would like to change, but those are total back burner projects (they can wait until other bigger projects, like picking colors for the stereo room and our bedroom or refinishing our front doors, are done).

So, there you have it, our $2 piece of art that is totally awesome!

Adventures in Lighting, Part 2

A quick recap of our last post:  we bought a spray painted sputnik light, had it sandblasted, had the stem lengthened, hand oil stains, we ended up spray painting it.  Well, that took a lot less words than the last post.

Our adventure continued when we wanted to actually hang the light in our dining room.  See, we have these lovely vaulted ceilings with beams, which means that there isn’t an attic or crawl space to go up into when we want to hang a light.  Lucky for us there are already wires sticking out close to where we want the light to be.  Yes, lucky for us.  And this is where the “old houses are harder” lesson continues.

Since we don’t tend to be very handy and prefer to keep all of our digits, we asked our contractor to create a box for the light to hang from.  We are difficult and wanted it to hang between the beams, so they had to create a faux mid-beam beam.  Jamie suggested, before we get the whole thing hung, that maybe we should test the wires and make sure they work.  They didn’t.  Our contractor thought they were almost original to the house, so it’s probably for the best that they didn’t work.

So, now we have a hole in our freshly painted wall, light sockets hanging out of the wall, and a half finished box on the ceiling.

Turns out there wasn’t anything wrong with the wires.  Previous owners were at fault.  Some where along the line, someone put in a 4-way switch and wired it wrong.  After the electrician got it all straightened out, he lengthened the wire, put a hidden junction box in the wall and reinstalled the right type of switch. Maybe it isn’t that old houses are harder, it’s hire a professional to do the wiring.

The painter came later and patched the hole and repainted it for us.  That made me ecstatic, since we had painted that very spot a little less than a week ago.  He covered the wires, painted the new beam-box, and patched the small part of popcorn ceiling that came down when they were uncovering the wires.  We have plans for that popcorn.  Eventually it will be gone.

The light is up now.  It’s beautiful and makes the dining room inviting.  Before it was kind of looking like a table sitting in a walk through area.

Since I waited so long to finally post this the fun star bulbs we ordered came in.  Behold our finished sputnick:

 

Now for some beauty shots:

Ooohhhh…..

Ahhhh…..

Let’s get a closer look at those light bulbs…

Just in case you can’t tell, we are very excited about our new light, or is it lights.  Either way, it’s awesome.

 

 

Adventures in Lighting, Part 1

You would think after spending seven months waiting for this house, three months in this house and hearing “there’s a problem” from our contractor countless times that we would eventually learn nothing is easy or simple when it comes to an old house.

Let me start at the beginning.  Before we even had the keys in our hands we knew we wanted a sputnik chandelier for over the dining room table.  We watched them on ebay sell for way more than we were willing to spend, but we had hope that one day we would get one.  We mentioned to our friends at Rocket City Retro to keep an eye out for one for us.  Turns out they had one in their back room.  Only problem was that someone had painted it silver and the paint was flaking off.  It was ours if we wanted another project.  So, we bought it with the hopes that we would be able to have it restored to it’s original brassy beauty.

We had it sandblasted to get the paint of of it.  That left it a sparkly champagne color and actually kind of pretty.

We took it to a lighting store to see about having the sockets removed so that we could have it powder coated to be shiney again.  Turns out that with 24 arms that would require a lot of work and subsequently a lot of money.  We decided to leave it the sandblasted color which was slowly growing on us.  We asked the lighting guys to extend the stem and skipped on our merry way.  Ok, it was more like drove away in a hot car with a cranky three-year-old.

After about two weeks we got the sputnik back and new problems surfaced, or there were new problems on the surface.  Turns out the lighting guys didn’t wear gloves when they were working on the light, so the oil from their hands created dark brown/black spots on the sandblasted brass (bad blogger Morgen didn’t get pictures of that part of the process- looking at it made me sad).  I decided it wasn’t worth the money to have it re-sandblasted (I’m cheap like that).  So, I tried cleaning it.  First with 409 (fail), then with steal wool.  The steal wool probably would have worked if I had tiny hands and a week of free time.  So, I did the unthinkable, I spray painted it again.  Rustoleum makes a spray paint that is very close to the color of the sandblasted brass, Champagne Mist.

I was planning on spray painting the stem of the light anyway since it didn’t match the light.  I misted it just enough on the sputnik to cover the oil marks and trying to keep the sparkle of the sandblasted brass.  I then used a clear coat in matte to seal it and hopefully prevent any future oil marks.  Unfortunately, it lost a little of it’s sparkle, but the sparkle was very subtle.  And if I ever want it back I can cough up the $30 and have it sandblasted again.  Only this time we will make sure to seal it right away and stop oil marks before they can happen.

This post turned out way longer than I thought it would, so it will be continued with a part 2 where you will learn why things are never simple with old houses, and hopefully a final post when it’s hung up.

It’s different.  It’s unique.  And hopefully when it’s hung it will look amazing.  Check back soon for part 2.

Endeavour

I’ve been checking the weather, setting alarms for before dawn and scouring the internet for information for the last three days.  You might wonder what would have me this excited. History in the making on the Space Coast. Today the Space Shuttle Endeavour starts its final flight from Kennedy Space Center to The California Science Center.

The Space Shuttle Discovery made a similar trip a few months ago traveling to Northern Virginia and I missed it.  I had remembered up until a few days prior to the event and then, BAM, life happened and I forgot.  I was so disappointed that the kids and I didn’t get to see it.  Jamie was on a flight heading to DC and saw it during his flight (lucky dog).  So, when I saw that I had another chance I jumped on it.

The flight was scheduled to take off at 7:15 AM, so like any good over-achiever, I got everyone up at 6 AM, even though the beach is a 2 minute drive.  We left the house at 7:05, got to the beach at 7:07, and waited around.  I love modern technology.  We stood on the beach and watched NASA TV broadcast the takeoff on my iPhone.  It was a beautiful morning, slightly overcast, which was a blessing and a curse.  It was great for taking pictures, we didn’t have to stare into the sunrise to see it go by.  The downside was that the flight was 1,500 feet over the ocean which seemed to be right where the clouds where hanging out too.  Ok, so enough of me blabbering.  I did manage to get a few pictures:

We could see it as soon as it took off from Kennedy Space Center.  Then it disappeared into the clouds. It was a bit surreal watching it come out of the clouds.

The call sign for the “ferry” carrying Endeavour is Pluto 95 Heavy.  I don’t know why, but I found that pretty funny.  That jet looks so tiny in comparison.

Shortly after this picture was taken we all dusted the sand off of our feet, hopped back into the car and got the kids to school.  Not a bad start to the morning.  Now I can say I’ve seen one of the space shuttles leave for it’s new home.  Hopefully the kids will remember it.  A little piece of Space Coast history.

Still Here

Sorry it’s been a while since we updated our progress on the house.  A lot has happened and we plan on giving you full details on all of it, once we get back on track.

  • The outside of the house has been painted
  • We have our tile backsplash now
  • Our range hood went in
  • We have started using our “new” dining room table
  • I painted some art for the front entrance
  • Started work on our super gross linen closet
  • The sink is no longer in the living room
  • The office has had some progress

All these details will have to wait a little while longer, but I thought I would share something that struck me as funny today.  Our contractor and the guy who is making the doors for our cabinets were here today.  I gave them pictures to illustrate how I want the cabinet knobs and pulls to be put on.  I work better through pictures than words.  I’m guessing these aren’t your normal inspiration photos.

This one shows how I want the lower cabinet pulls to all be horizontal.  We bought our pulls from Home Depot.  They remind me of my car door handles from my first car, a 66 Mustang.  Those bows on the curtains are sort of amazing.

This picture shows how I want the upper cabinets knobs to be set slightly higher than what is the norm.  Our upper cabinet knobs are vintage and were bought on ebay.  They are really big chrome knobs like what is in this picture.

Then this picture shows them both together, except I would like the upper ones a little tiny bit higher.  Other than that, it’s perfect.  I was bad and didn’t get any of the sources for these pictures.  They were some of what came up when you google “mid century kitchen”.

I will hopefully be back soon with more updates, but right now I have to go play Cuddle, Cuddle Friends with our 3 year old and his large stuffed animal collection.  He has been laying on the floor yelling “Mommy, let’s go” the entire time I’ve been typing this, which was maybe 10 minutes.  Oh, to have the patience of a 3 year old.

Have a great rest of your day!

 

 

 

The Stereo Room

We have a room that some would call a Florida Room.  We were calling it the Sunroom, but now it’s the Stereo Room.  It has one wall of sliders and opens to the rest of the house through a couple of arches.  We think it was a screened porch that became part of the house.  When we first moved in, it housed our old sleeper sofa, or laundry couch as we have come to call it and the terrarium left behind by the previous owner.

We had bought some furniture for the room, an awesome Magnavox record player, an amazing green vintage couch, some great Lane end tables and coffee table.  Then the kitchen installation started kicking up dust, dust, and more dust.  We moved all of the furniture to one side of the room and covered it up with blankets.  We were trying to keep everything as dust free as possible, especially our high-tech record player.  The room became our new kitchen and started looking like this:

Since so much was accomplished Thursday we were able to start moving things into the kitchen cabinets, putting the food away in the pantry, get the stove into place, and we were able to start arranging the Stereo Room.  We got rid of our old laundry couch, moved out everything that doesn’t belong in there, and vacuumed the rug.  Then brought all the fun stuff back in. We hung our peacocks on the wall above the Magnavox.

 

The green couch, the stereo cabinet, peacock wall art and the fabulous blue lamp all came from our favorite local vintage store Rocket City Retro.  The owners Nicole and Billy are just as awesome as the items they sell.  I think 90% of the “new” furniture we have bought has been from them.  And, come to think of it, 99% of the furniture we have bought for the house isn’t new at all.  It’s all been previously owned.

The peacocks are our newest additions.  Every time we’ve gone into Rocket City Retro I’ve seen them.  Over time they have grown on me and now I love them.  I have such an awesome husband that he encouraged me to buy them last time we were there.

There are still projects to get done in here.  We want to paint, find another comfy chair (maybe two), some more art, some fun pillows, and we’re thinking maybe some wood paneling for one of the walls.  I don’t plan on having curtains for the sliders.  They’re huge, I’m cheap, and fabric is expensive in large quantities.  And finally, maybe an overhead light.  There is a box in the ceiling right now that is covered with a lovely grey cover.

The rug we used in our bedroom in our last few houses.  The Lane end tables were a craigslist find.  They were the ones we were going to see when we found Terry.  The Lane coffee table was found on ebay.  The chair in the corner is one of the ones we found in the shed, it just needs to be redone.  The vase is my favorite vase.  We bought it at a flea market a few years ago.

So, that’s the Stereo Room for now.  It’s now the cleanest, most pulled together room of the house.  Our glimmer of hope for the rest of the house.

 

Here’s the short list for this room (in no particular order):

  •  overhead light
  • paint walls, trim and ceiling
  • throw pillows
  • more decor for the walls
  • comfy chair or two
  • record storage
  • refinish chair
  • find a runner to put in front of the door the kids use (to wipe feet on)
  • clean the floors, outlet covers, and the sliding glass door tracks

 

 

 

Trading for Terry

Maybe not the same as Babe Ruth for cash or Kareem Abdul Jabbar for Junior Bridgeman but it may go down as one of the best trades of all time.

There were many things left behind in the house when the previous owner departed including this grimy and rusted 40-galloon terrarium. We dragged the rock-filled, reptile food-stained glass tank to the garage and stuck it up on Craig’s List for $50.

The next morning it sold to an owner of a Burmese Python, likely saving Florida Everglades from another unwanted resident.

So doing our good deed to preserve the Everglades, the family set off that afternoon to look at some end tables for the Florida room but what we found in someone’s garage underneath comforters and dirty clothes was this sweet gold, green and orange mid-century rocking chair.

The price: $50.

What a great trade!

Meet our newest addition to 321 Space Century Lane: Terry.

Named after the terrarium we sort of traded for it.

A Typical Tuesday

 

A little of this, a little of that.  There seems to be a lot going on right now.  Just yesterday, we had carpenters, painters, contractors, and plumbers here.  The painters were getting the house ready for it’s new outdoor colors (more to come on that later).

That’s Jamie, not the painter. This is from our instigram account. Username is morgenflower if you want to follow our adventures there too.

We learned that when you have a house with big, glorious, open windows, having them taped up really makes the house feel small and we feel slightly claustrophobic.

The carpenters were here hanging the cabinets.  It’s coming along and starting to take shape.

It was a learning experience.  I learned that there are covers of Prince’s song Kiss performed by bluegrass bands.  Who knew?  They did all that they could, but since the drain for the sink had to be moved 15 inches, they couldn’t put in any of the cabinets for the island.

After the carpenters left, a rain storm to end all rain storms started rolling in and chased off the painters.  At this point in the day (around 3 p.m.) the only way in and out of the house is through the garage (the front door had been covered in plastic too).  I heard a knock on the door in the garage.  Surprise, the plumbers are here to jackhammer your floor some more!  It didn’t help that the plumber looked and sounded just like Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs. So, it’s dinner time for the kids, there is a huge storm outside and Buffalo Bill is digging a well in the kitchen floor.  Who said remodeling wasn’t glamourous?

Speaking of glamourous, do you want to see what our house looks like right now?  It’s scary, so now would be the time to go to another webpage.  There is no turning back.  Once these images are seen, you won’t be able to unsee them.

The horror!  This is our “pantry” here in the foreground.  Off to the left is our plate, bowl, utensil storage, and back by the fireplace is the catch-all.

This is the sun room.  There are 2 couches, end tables, record cabinet and a coffee table hidden in this picture.  We had to cover it all up because of the amounts of dust from the construction.

This is where we keep all of kitchen essentials, like the blender and milkshake maker.

Pay no attention to the Black & Decker Mouse under the table or the empty cracker package (I had no idea that was there until I saw this picture, oops).  Off to the right is where we cook most of our meals- the toaster.  It sits on the floor in the corner.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the dog contemplate stealing someone’s toast while it was being toasted.

Here is the catch-all.  Paint samples, the stove, dishwasher parts, things that I want to put in the kitchen, shop vac, things that need to be put away, and pieces of unfinished projects.

Ugh, these pictures are so embarrassing.  I promise our whole house isn’t this bad.  I do look forward to being able to walk around the house barefoot.  It’s just so dusty and dirty, but every time we clean it up a bigger construction mess is made the next day, so we have given up a bit.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel though.  Last night was final decision time for the countertops.  If all goes as planned we should have them by the end of next week.  YAY!

To end the night we chased a giant dragonfly around the house trying to get it back outside.  They are great to have in your yard since they eat mosquitos.  Not very useful in the house though.  We eventually got it out through the slider.  The storm had pulled the plastic back leaving a small opening in the back slider for us to get him out.

Just a typical Tuesday around here.